Inching Toward Simplicity: Pragmatics and Prose

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Habit Forming


• Patricia Wagner at Life writes about 21 days to a positive attitude. What better habit to form?
• There’s a balance to strike—have a routine, but avoid getting in rut. Here’s some advice from Shape magazine on breaking out of a routine that is threatening to suffocate.
• Here are 7 creative habits to acquire, from Creative Something.
• This could have been written for me - 7 (health-related) habits to break.


I wonder how it was determined that it takes 21 days to break a habit? And is it an equal amount of time if you want to acquire one?

I’m hoping a month will do it for acquisition. This month, National Poetry Month, I’m participating in a Poem a Day challenge at the Poetic Asides blog. Already I’ve missed a day (the first one--April sneaked in).

Thinking about the quest for keeping things simple, there is something to be said for routines. Good routines are a way to harness time, to set the clock for the day. Twenty minutes of straightening up prevents an overwhelm of chores on Saturday; the morning walk lends new perspective. Both of these simple tasks seem, at times, impossible for me to achieve with real regularity.

It may actually take a break in routine to get back into the routine you want. I’d been craving a breather from my heavy workload and took a few days off last week. Finally, I had time to think. I had time to realize that I’d been neglecting myself. Overeating, upping the caffeine, foregoing my treasured walks--neglecting the very habits that would have helped me cope with my crazy deadlines!

It’s hard to make the choice to adopt or maintain a good habit when you feel you’ve barely got time to breathe. But it is a choice, an investment in a better existence. One way that we are all surely creatures of habit—-we want to know what’s in it for us! Find a way to reward yourself for the good choices you make. In my case, a little dark chocolate goes a long way.

What are the habits that have helped you simplify your life? Please send me a comment.

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